Last month Ashford and St Peter’s and Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trusts launched a new electronic patient record system, setting the scene for joined up care across the county. The system comprises a series of software applications that bring together and digitalise clinical and administrative data to replace paper-based records that will improve processes and increase safety, efficiency, and experience for patients.
Transition to the new system has required a phenomenal amount of work and colleagues from both organisations have shown a huge amount of dedication and resilience. We would like to thank our patients and visitors for their patience and support.
In many areas teams are making good progress in embedding the system and adapting to the new ways of working. Go-live identified several issues that slowed down use of the system or meant certain tasks were not easy to complete. We have worked through these and identified the majority of required fixes. Many have now been implemented and the remainder will be undertaken as quickly as possible.
Despite the huge efforts of all involved in the project, there have been more significant difficulties in outpatients. These include challenges with the booking and administration of outpatient clinics and other procedures and some of the processes involved in following up patients. The fix for these issues will require detailed system modifications and we are absolutely on the case with this to ensure they are implemented in the quickest possible time frame. This is a challenging time for the teams involved and we would ask patients to bear with us whilst we address this.
To ensure everything has been captured correctly in the transition to Surrey Safe Care we are undertaking an additional data validation process to check the information of each patient moved onto the new system. This will provide vital assurance in terms of patient safety and ensure that nothing has been missed.
The pressures of introducing the new system have also meant a delay to the scheduling of some outpatient appointments and we are securing extra resource to get these booked as quickly as possible.
Whilst we are still confident that the new system will provide a much better, safer and more efficient way of working going forward, there are some issues to overcome before achieving this.
We greatly appreciate the support and patience of patients, relatives, and visitors and apologise for any delays you have experienced. We are doing everything possible to minimise disruption, but we understand this will impact on some people and if you have concerns please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).
Thank you to our patients, partners, and local community for your ongoing support.
Julie Smith, Chief Executive, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Louise Stead, Chief Executive, Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust